Three Characteristics of Community Investment:1. Biblical – most important 2. Practical – must be hands-on 3. Relevant – know your context and meet people where they are
1. Biblical o Ephesians 4:11-12 - You are being trained to lead others. Pour into others. o Jeremiah 29:7 - Be salt and light to your community. Slow down the destruction that sin causes in your community. o Matthew 5:13-16 o Matthew 22:36-40 o Matthew 28:18-20 o Romans 12:18 - Pray for your leaders and live in peace with others. o 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Leadership should reinforce the biblical foundation of City Investment in every aspect of the church’s ministry.
2. Practical o Evaluate your resources. - **God is not limited by our resources, but be smart and know what you have available. o People o Materials – think outside the box o Budget - don’t let it limit your dreaming o Know your people – success builds success – give responsibilities appropriately. o Skills oStrengths oWeaknesses
Try to create a balance between struggle and success. This is where growth occurs.
o Choose your partners (you are not able to meet every practical need): o Churches – like faith, like minded o Para-church organizations o Civic organizations
Ask the partner, 'what needs do you have?'
o Relief vs. Development – relief lifts an immediate burden; development is empowering for future change.
A balanced ministry will invest in the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of your community.
3. Relevant o Know your city. Research demographics. Know the area around your church as well as the larger metro area. o Know the culture. The culture in the church and the city are often very different. o Know the community leaders. Work to build their trust. Take the time to build relationships to accomplish the goals together. o Do not make assumptions. Don’t feed the misconceptions. Don’t assume you know what the problem is and that you have the answers. o “Your perception of me may not be my reality.”
Be willing to make long-term investments! • Learn to give ministry away to be more effective. • Use your influence where you are to create a culture of serving out in the community. • Center Church by Tim Keller